“The Men They Will Become: Strengthening Character in Fathers and Boys”
Keynote Address, National Headstart Institute on Father Involvement: Strengthening the Characters of Boys and Fathers, Dallas, TX, June 15, 2004
video of presentation
Read chapters (click on links below)
Table of Contents
Chapter Six, Discipline and Punishment
Chapter Eleven, Honesty
Chapter Twelve, Self Control
Chapter Thirteen, Teasing and Bullying
Chapter Fourteen, Early Adolescence
Chapter Sixteen, Alcohol and Drugs
Chapter Seventeen, Late Adolescence
Chapter Eighteen, Enabling
Chapter Nineteen, Cheating
Chapter Twenty, Play and Sports
Praise | Dust Jacket | About The Men They Will Become
“The Men They Will Become is a lifeline thrown to the boys among us, and to those who love them. Informed by scholarship and lessons learned from his medical practice and his own life, Eli Newberger’s voice is original, compassionate, and trustworthy. For this wounded society, he is the doctor, and his book is the medicine.”
— James Carroll, author of An American Requiem
“This is a helpful representation of the developmental processes which young boys must master. Particularly poignant to me are the stories of adolescents who are not being understood and fully supported by frightened parents who, in turn, cannot see their children’s turmoil for what it is – a search for an identity that is acceptable and contributive. Concerned parents (and we all are) can gain support for their roles in this book.”
— T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., author of Touchpoints
“Eli Newberger powerfully addresses the critical and timely issues of character and character development in boys and men. Through the stories he has collected, and the wisdom he has gained from years of clinical work and research, Dr. Newberger gives voice to the relationships and connections that are essential in creating moral and caring male citizens.”
— Margot Strom, Executive Director, Facing History and Ourselves
“Increasingly, we seem to live in a time ravaged by the destructive acts of young males. In this insightful book, Eli Newberger traces these senseless acts to one significant source, the barren moral landscape in which large numbers of youth grow to an uncertain maturity. Expert in issues of family violence, Dr. Newberger urges the kind of consistent, firm, yet loving guidance youth need from adults to acquire respect for self and others and a strong character. Through examples and excellent commentary, he shows how parents and educators, by doing this tough moral work, can give youth the right tools to reach a positive, socially responsible adulthood.”
–Edward Zigler, Sterling Professor of Psychology, Yale University
“Eli Newberger has written a ground-breaking book that will be of enduring interest to students of education, social work, counseling, and to those who teach them. The question of character development, which is the heart of this book, has received much less attention in recent decades than that given to cognitive development and personality development generally. The need for such attention is daily highlighted by reports of violence in the schools, teen-age suicide, and other tragedies in the life of the young. Dr. Newberger’s book fills this critical need. He manages to combine a comprehensive coverage of the scientific literature with down-to-earth advice to practitioners, and does so in a highly readable style. It deserves a place on the bookshelf of every professional and future professional, as well as of every parent with sons to raise.”
— Brendan A. Maher, Edward C. Henderson Professor of the Psychology of Personality, Harvard University
How do boys develop character?
What can parents, teachers and society do to nurture admirable qualities in boys and young men?
“Eli Newberger, M.D., one of this country’s most distinguished pediatricians and experts on family development, brings decades of experience and insight to these vital questions. In riveting stories, both heartwarming and heartrending, he shows boys facing the harsh challenges that forge or break character: cheating, bullying, dealing with drugs, alcohol, and competition. The scope of his insight is broad and full of respect for the tenacity and devotion that sustain strong families.
“From birth to late adolescence, The Men They Will Become delves to the deepest roots of male character. A baby boy, says the author, has traits but no character. As he grows, particular characteristics – attachment, honesty, self-control, sportsmanship, generosity, courage – are either nurtured or thwarted. Intrinsic biological drives combine with styles of parenting as well as gender-polarizing forces in the culture to create either the admirable qualities we all admire or those we deplore and fear.
“Rather than looking for flaws and vulnerabilities, or trying to make boys more like girls, Newberger celebrates the differences, the wonderful qualities that make boys boys, and shows us how to nurture and encourage them. As concerns about male character and values enter nearly every discussion about private and public life, this profoundly insightful book offers important and timely guidance.